While we'll be going into this topic in more depth a bit later in your training, below are a list of processes/drills and perspectives I want you to put into your game right now. Actually I am personally so excited about these strategies I almost made a separate product from it.

But I always want to add tremendous value for my Elite member's so I decided just take the meat of things and include it in your membership.

Take what you learn to the range today and make this a part of your game and I will guarantee you'll add a new level of consistency to not only your swing but more importantly to your scoring.

Rhythm and Tempo - What's the difference?

Simply put rhythm is your overall experience of pace as you play. The way you walk, move, swing. Tempo is the speed of your swing.

Tempo

Some players have quick tempos and their swing is more likened to a piston firing while others are languid and syrupy. An example of this difference would be

  • Fast - Brandt Snedeker
  • Smooth or slow - Ernie Els

We can agree these two swings demonstrate two very different tempos. Both are very effective. What's important is for you to find yours and master it. Meaning dial it in until you know it as well as breathing. Once you know your tempo you can use it more consistently. In terms of monitoring performance it goes hand in hand with Rhythm.

I don't like to separate the two except for the purpose of building an awareness of their differences so they can be talked about. Yet when it comes to playing good golf both need to be maintained.

Rhythm

Rhythm is the pace you move around the course. It is essential you master this area if you have any serious intentions of playing the best golf you can play. Without good rhythm it is impossible to maintain your swing, mind and body in balance. The zone itself is a reflection of a previously established rhythm.

Did you get that? Don't gloss over those words. I know a process of developing the flow state or the zone as most people call it. It is expanded on in the later part of all the lessons. And it is dependent on rhythm, which forms the foundation for allowing the zone to occur naturally.

This is revolutionary stuff I'm talking bout and yes I'm toting my own horn because while everyone (sport psychologists and the golf establishment) talks abut the zone they have no clue as to how it happens, why, or what to do about making it happen. It remains a mystery, a fantasy or just some cliche` for most golfers.

Before we get ahead of ourselves let's do the necessary work to ensure you can develop your rhythm & tempo that will lead you into your own unique performance zone...

Creating Consistent Tempo

Most handicap golfers have the tendency to hurry their swing, especially under pressure. What you need is a sort of inner metronome that tells you exactly what your best tempo is. Your most consistent swing tempo allows consistent results. Better players are aware of this but still get caught changing their tempo under pressure.

I want you to build a feel for your tempo and below I provide ways to dial it in

Tempo drills

Metronome drill - get a metronome if you don't have one. Trust me, you'll make great use of it with my coaching and you'll find other ways to use it once your imagination is properly stimulated.

  1. Make some swings until you feel you're swinging the way you like
  2. Set the metronome to match your swing speed So as you take the club away and go to the top and downswing and finish your swing make the metronome match that tempo. It'll be easy for you to find it.
  3. Make swings along with your metronome settings. Really "feel" the way your swing happens and its natural timing signature.
  4. Turn off the metronome.
  5. Make some swings feeling the optimal tempo once again. Even hear the metronome in your mind's ear and match it. This is your signature.
  6. Turn the metronome back on to your settings and make sure it feels natural. The distinctions you gain from turning it on and off will build the critical inner awareness and feel of what is unmistakably your optimal swing tempo.

Metronome & Putting - This drill when applied top putting will transform how you experience your putting stroke. You will have an undeniable connection to the absolute best tempo for you. I don't need to detail the steps again as they are the same as above only you're using your putter.

Take your time on this one. I can't stress enough how effective this is! I did this years ago and have always been a good putter but this really allowed me to "know" it. And we all know that if there ever was a club in the bag that relies on confidence the most it is the putter!

I remember a guy I knew was teeing it up for a round one day while I was practicing this technique (back then I hadn't heard or seen anyone doing it before me) and the pace of play at this course is fairly decent so he and his partner were done in about 3:30 hours or so. Guess how I know they were finished? I was still there with the metronome going &  dialing in my tempo! I could hear him commenting on it to his partner as he walked by whispering...

Ok, you might think that's a bit much to spend over 3 and 1/2 hours in one session ( In only did that one marathon session and all future ones were only 5 minutes or so) but as I said I can't overstate the effectiveness of this technique. Commit to it and you will ALWAYS have a fallback when things go bad with the putter. And even more importantly you'll have a certainty of what matters most to being a great putter.

NOTE: You're not "born" a great putter. Great putting is first confidence, then a consistency of tempo and rhythm and can, without question, be taught into a player. EVERYONE can learn to be a good putter a lot easier than say achieving 300 + yards of carry with their driver. The putter is the easiest of all clubs to master but clearly this isn't the reality most golfers experience when playing. This drill is going to change that...

Takeaway drill - This is a great drill for programming your swing to your optimal tempo. When under pressure (shooting your personal low score or winning a tournament or whatever means pressure to you) most players speed up their swing. The pressure makes the mind and body want to just "get it over with" to alleviate the sense of pressure being experienced.

  1. Place two balls on ground - one behind the club-head and one at the place you'd hit the ball.
  2. Begin your takeaway as you normally would and it will touch/move the ball placed in behind it.
  3. Notice how far the ball rolls away from you. The further it goes the faster your takeaway is and this can cause tempo problems

Rhythm Drills

One of the best examples of rhythm in a golf swing was Payne Stewart. His swing was not techniques driven. It was pure rhythm and tempo meshed together beautifully. Here's a drill he used that you're going to love.

  1. hit 3 sand wedges
  2. then hit 3 drivers
  3. repeat that cycle.

Swing with the feeling that every swing has the same effort. Mirror them. This can slow down the tendency to overswing the driver. Develop a similar feeling to every swing. By going between a wedge and a driver you really get s strong indicator at your rhythm.

Smooth as silk drill - Finish your practice sessions hitting your driver only 150 yards. Yes, you read that right, hit it only 150 yards.

  1. Hit driver 150 yards
  2. Hit your 7 iron only 100 yards
  3. Hit your 5 iron only 125

This is a great exercise and allows you to leave your practice sessions with a wonderfully calm feeling about your swing. It also really smooths out your tempo and once again drills into your unconscious the best way to feel while playing golf: calm and relaxed with a feeling of effortlessness.

Swing Thoughts - Although I'm not big on carrying swing thoughts (I expand on this later in the future lessons) since the more you're using your conscious mind the less effortless and the less flow you're experiencing. Now the key is to make the swing thought a "right brain" swing thought. I am a fan of these if you "need" a swing thought.

I remember many years ago a player named Tony Jacklin won a major championship and credited it to rhythm. What did he keep in his mind?

Fluid & Flowing

Now that is an excellent swing thought. Notice that there's nothing technical to this. It's all right brain. feel based words. He continued to swing based on these two keys and waltz his way to a major championship. Give it a try. Better yet, find rhythm and tempo thoughts that fit your swing and game...

Music - Music is another excellent way to establish a rhythm for yourself. Go and find a song you like that matches your swing tempo. Based on the metronome work you've done earlier. Just play the metronome at your swing tempo speed and play songs you like with it and find one that matches it.

Then put that song in your ipod/mp3 player and listen to it on the way to the course! This truly is an excellent way to get in the groove and wire your mind and body together so that your tempo becomes unconsciously dialed in. Now you don't have to "think" about it.

Another player from decades ago was HUGE on this technique, Al Geiberger. I have no idea why this hasn't been established as a standard method for setting good rhythm in golf schools everywhere. I assure you, if you take this to heart and add this process to the many things you've already learned as an Elite member, there is absolutely no way your game won't improve. Your scores will go down and your consistency will explode.

A few more tips to use

Use these processes when at the range and at the course. They work and are very simple:

  1. relax shoulders and arms and hands and make some swings
  2. relax you jaw - believe it or not you are almost grinding your teeth when you swing your driver! Relax your jaw and this awareness will lead to other areas relaxing too...
  3. to hit it further swing smoother, arms soft and relaxed. This one extends off of step 1. Once you get that nice feeling of relaxed shoulders, arms and hands make some really smooth swings and watch how far you start blasting the ball!
  4. make a little pause at the top - this can allow the sequence of your swing to take place and prevent some of the "hurry" in the swing.
  5. hold your finish until ball hits the ground - make some swings and hold that finish until the ball hits the ground! This drill has other benefits beyond this but for now we're focusing on rhythm. To finish in balance you virtually have to have good tempo and rhythm.

Ok, that is more than enough processes to add to your tool box. Please take the time and use them all. Or at least a few. They work!

Next lesson is on Short Game Mindset. It'll be ready in about 4 or 5 days. I'll send you an email letting you know it's ready. See you then!